Nepal Indigenous Development Society (NIDS)

Ratnanagar Tandi, Chitwan, Nepal

About the organization

NIDS (Nepal Indigenous Development Society) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 1993 and registered with the social welfare council in Nepal in 1994.


An educated and well-developed society.


To make a lasting and positive difference on the lives of disadvantaged people.


To make an educated, healthy, self-reliant and empowered society.

The empowerment of individuals and communities to take actions that result in improvements in their own lives.




NIDS (Nepal Indigenous Development Society) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 1993 and registered with the social welfare council in Nepal in 1994.

At the beginning of 1993 there were many different clubs in the Chitwan area that were mainly formed for sporting purposes. Some members of these clubs recognized that there was a need for education around the social problems that these groups were facing. The founding members of NIDS arranged a meeting with one member from each of the clubs present, and they discussed forming a united group to address some of the issues that people in the Chitwan area were facing, such as health, education and welfare problems.

A national NGO organized some training for the members of NIDS around NGO management, accounting, leadership development, literacy training for trainers and the use of PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal). One of the chance encounters that helped NIDS's development was a life-threatening event that occurred when some Belgians, representing a development organization, were crossing a river and their boat capsized. Luckily there were some NIDS members present who were able to save the Belgians from the river. They then discussed how dangerous the river was and what could be done about overcoming this problem.

NIDS put together a proposal to build a bridge across the river after discussion with the group. Over the next year NIDS constructed an all-weather motorable bridge to the island village of Harnari, mobilizing hundreds of local villages to donate the labor for the bridge's construction. With financial assistance from the Belgian organization BIKAS, NIDS built the bridge for Rs 2.4 million, which the government engineers estimated would cost Rs. 15 million. The benefit to local people is immeasurable as they now have a safe and reliable way to reach the mainland. Since its inception, the NIDS organization has:

Health education .
Multi-purpose tree preparation .
Skill development .
Sanitation Development
Income Generating
Infrastructure Development .


NIDS Programs

Bamboo Cultivation Program

Why Bamboo Cultivation?

Objective of the program:


Child Development Centers

NIDS has two child centers, funded by UNICEF until 2005, for young people from the age of three to five years old. Mothers can bring their children here free of charge from 10 am till 2 pm for six days a week, as Saturday the center is closed. NIDS's workers have also been able to use these centers to help with programs on health and nutrition, family planning and HIV awareness and pre-birth work with pregnant women.

Both male and female volunteers will be allowed to work with the young peoples groups formed with in these centers, for three to four hours per day. This will mainly include dancing and playing games and having fun with the children. There will be some activities that will be used as an introduction to the education system. Volunteers can also help with the weighing of babies for the ICDP (Integrated Child Development Program).

Volunteers will have a lot of scope too use their own imaginations to come up with new ways of playing games that have an educational element to them, as well as just alternatives to the types of fun activities that are used on a daily basis.

This also provides an opportunity for an early introduction to English. Research has shown that young people are more capable of learning languages from hearing them on a regular basis from a young age, and with your help this will be the first introduction to English for many of the young people in our centers.

Any teaching materials for this age group that you can provide will be greatly appreciated, as well as the ability to play and bring an instrument. Also books, coloring pens, balloons and any toys, preferably not battery operated ones, will have a positive impac.


Health Education Classes

In 1999 and 2000, NIDS created a total of 17 women's groups in collaboration with BIKAS. Those groups followed and finished the basic literacy classes followed by 3 months of legal literacy classes.

In 2001 NIDS aimed to engage these 17 groups in health education classes.
In order to encourage interaction between the women's groups and to reduce the cost of each training program, each workshop held three women's groups and therefore held approximately 60 participants.

The health education classes are organized in one-day workshops from 10 am to 5 pm, once a month. Each workshop is about a specific area concerning women and health, and is organized by a specialized trainer to 12.30.

In the afternoon from 12.30 to 3.30 the group subdivides in to 3 or 4 smaller groups of 15 to 20, who will discuss the information under direction from NIDS staff. Each group receives a list of questions and discussion points, and with the aid of role-plays, a better understanding of the problems and issues is gained during each session.

After a tea break the big group meets again, and each sub-group discusses the results, responses, answers and opinions found out during the afternoon in order to formulate a conclusion.

The 8 discussion subjects will be:

1. Girl trafficking for prostitution, and prevention.
2. HIV / AIDS awareness and prevention.
3. Anemia and uterus problem prevention.
4. Women's body and pregnancy.
5. Family planning, counseling and community based distribution system of contraception.
6. Child health, gender discrimination and the parents' role.
7. Vaccination, vitamins, nutrition and malnutrition and disease prevention.
8. Sexual abuse and child marriage.

Integrated Child Development Program (ICDP)

With the help of UNICEF, and through the district NGO co-ordination committee, NIDS has a 3-year ICDP program from 1999 to 2002. From the year 2002 the program will modify as Decentralized Action for Children And Women (DACAW) to 2006.

To reduce the number of deaths from diarrhea, pneumonia and repertory diseases.
To provide education to parents on child deverlopment.
To develop community based child centers.
To develop a plan for children who are unable to get primary education.
To organize young people, mothers' and fathers' groups within the community.

The program focuses on child development, protection and young peoples rights. These rights can be categorized in four ways:

Right of Survival - The right to survival begins from conception. The program offers vaccinations to mothers and provides education to both parents on the nutrition requirements during pregnancy.

Right of Development - Education continues around nutrition and a holistic approach is emphasized, looking at psychological needs as well as physiological needs. The babies are weighed monthly to monitor their development.

Right to Protection - A vaccination scheme for the babies is implemented within one month of birth. Education for the parents is provided on the prevention of child labor and girl trafficking for prostitution.

Right to Participation - Education for the parents here is aimed at encouraging the young persons inclusion in decisions that affect them. This could include the family shopping budget, their choice of food i.e. vegetarianism, choice of carrier or education.


Income Generating Projects

In 2000, NIDS organized individual income generating projects on a large scale within the 17 woman's groups created in 1999 and 2000. A large portion of the money invested in those activities was be refunded in 2001.

The income generated from the 2000 projects has financed the income generating projects for 2001. This is an on-going process that is sustainable in the long term.

The work consists as a combination of skill development and income generating projects. The participants follow training organized by NIDS, and those who complete the training will be entitled to get a loan in order to launch their activity.

This loan will cover a part or the total amount necessary to launch the activity, depending on the situation, the money available, and the number of women interested in the activity. This loan will be refundable after one year.

The participants of each woman's group will make joint decisions on the activity with in which they wish to engage. Group members can choose there own activity from the NIDS program, or they can make their own proposal to the NIDS staff team.

To insure a big impact and the success of the activity, the selection of the women's group who will participate in the activities is severe. Before starting the project, the necessary cost and investment is calculated in order to ascertain if contributions, (financial or other) on the part of the women's group will be required. If this is the case, the exact amount and nature of the contribution is determined, and only the groups who are able to provide this contribution before the beginning of the training, will be allowed to participate in the training


Infrastructure Development

Bridge Construction

The Kumroj V.D.C (village district committee) of the Chitwan district is adjoining to the Chitwan National Park, and was a River locked area. During the rainy season Kumroj V.D.C was cut off by water. With the economic help of a Belgium organization, and with local people participating NIDS has constructed a 90m long bridge, motor able over the Dhungre river joining Bachhauli V.D.C with Kumroj V.D.C during the year 1997 ­ 1998.

To construct the bridge NIDS delivered technical assistance, cement, steel rods, stone, sand and gravel etc. The villagers were organized and made responsible for the labor and transportation of materials. About 360 households in the Kumroj V.D.C have benefited from the bridge.

School Construction

In 1999 NIDS has constructed a school building, having two classrooms, in Bachhauli-6, Chitwan. The name of the school is the 'Shree Bachhauli High School' and is located in Bachhauli V.D.C ward number 6. NIDS delivered construction materials and technical assistance while the local people were organized to do the work, and responsible for labor.


Literacy Program

The ALC, (adult literacy class) is specially designed for women. Since 1995, approximately 2121 students, consisting of 294 males and 1827 females have benefited from the program.

With in the NIDS literacy program 2001, there were seven classes, six of which were inside Padampur and one outside the area. The ALC consists of three phases: the basic adult literacy class, the post adult literacy class, and the legal literacy class. The program as a whole covers a span of twelve months in which the following classes are held with their respective objectives in mind.

Basic Adult Literacy

Duration: 6 months

Textbook: Nayagoreto 1st & 2nd


Post-Adult Literacy Class

Duration: 3-6 months

Textbook: Koseli 1st & 2nd



Legal Literacy Class or Advanced Literacy

Duration: 3 months

Textbook: Right, Responsibility and Advocacy


Empowerment through legal understanding of the following areas:

The current literacy program, which consists of seven classes, commenced in May 2001 and was still in implementation during the construction of the site.

Multi Purpose Tree Preparation

With the economic assistance of Seed/Tree inc. an American organization, NIDS has prepared 17 multi-purpose tree nurseries in 1996 and 11 in 1997. Similarly, 8 nurseries were created in 1998. During these three years all together 36-tree nurseries in different villages of the Chitwan district were prepared by NIDS, with the participation of women's groups members.

The group members were responsible for the land, labor and other local materials. NIDS provided tree seeds and technical support to the group members.

The groups sold some seedlings from the nursery, and the money from this was kept in a group fund. Some seedlings such as fodder, timber and medicinal plants were planted on their own land. 864 female group members have benefited from this program. The total number of tree seedlings, of which there are 12 varieties that were produced over three years is a staggering 1,245

PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal)

PRA is a process employed by NIDS to identify the main health, education and social problems in a given community, with the participation of local residents through community action and community education. For anyone with an interest in community development there is a lot to be learned from this technique in its planning, implementation and evaluation.

A meeting of the residents within a community is called with up to 90% of the locals attending. NIDS raises different questions at these meetings such as; how many roads, trees, availability of taped or pumped water, animals, the percentage of farmers there is in the community.

The residents also makes a map of their area through discussion and creating a physical representation with maze, stones, rice or whatever is handy, and this is then photographed for future map making.

Once a clear picture of the area is produced, NIDS tells them what their main health, education and social problems are. It could be that NIDS raises points that locals have never thought about before, or even considered achievable in the past.
NIDS makes people aware of what they are entitled to from the government, what they and the government may also be able to do for their community, and what they can do to help themselves.

This process is carried out once, sometimes twice a year. However when the main problems are identified in a community it is not always the case that sufficient funds are available to address the problems, This can have a negative impact on local people who may already have low expectations of out side intervention and assistance.

PRA is having a very positive response in the whole, from government bodies to community groups. It is clear that a lack of resources is the main problem for many different community schemes, through out the world, and Nepal being one of the poorest countries in the world per capita, is no exception to this.

Sanitation Projects

Toilet Construction

NDS formed a fund through different ways such as a general members fee and donations, and from this fund 15 hygienic toilets were constructed in the Jhunani village of the Chitwan district in 1998.

During construction of the 15 toilets NIDS provided cement, bricks, steel rod and toilet materials to the local people. The responsibility of participants was the labor and transportation of materials. 15 families have directly benefited from this project.

Smokeless Stoves

With the economic assistance of BIKAS, a Belgian organization NIDS prepared 50 smokeless stoves in the Bachhauli village in the year 1997.

For this project NIDS trains local people on the preparation of smokeless stoves and provides materials such as bricks and steel rods. Smokeless stoves are more efficient than conventional wood stoves and they reduce the consumption of firewood, as well as the risk from smoke inhalation. 30 families of the Bachhauli village have benefited from this project.

Drinking Water (Deep Bore Pump)

Within the Chitwan district there is a village called New Padampur. The people of this village have migrated from Old Padampur, an enclave within the Royal Chitwan National Park, due the danger of flooding in the monsoon season. However, in New Padampur during the dry season people in the area would have to walk for 3 to 4 hours to get water to drink.

The ground water level for the area is more than 56 feet down according to the National Drilling Company, and due to the high cost of investment the local people were unable to construct a deep bore pump in the area. With the assistance of BIKAS NIDS have constructed 2 deep bore water pumps in the area of New Padampur area in the year 1999. Now more than 103 families of the area can now get clean water to drink. NIDS has also made a proposal to a Nepalese organization for funding of a further 18 deep-water pumps to meet the water needs of the people of New Padampur.

WEP (Women's Empowerment Program)

NIDS WEP program aims too help women from disadvantaged groups reach self-sufficient socio-economic status and improve their decision-making abilities.

Activities of the program

Women's saving groups formation.
Basic adult literacy classes and women's rights.
Training around the village-banking establishments.

In this program NIDS has formed 70 women's groups of disadvantaged communities, in different villages of the Chitwan district. There is a monthly saving system where each member of the group has to collect a minimum amount of RS 5 to 100 depending upon the economic status of the women. Of the 70 groups 22 the have set up village banks in their own communities.

1401 women are involved in this program, with 10 EW's (empowerment workers) employed for this group. The EW's visit the groups at their monthly meetings and help them to keep financial records and encourage and motivate the groups.
From the start of the program in 1999 till 4/2002 the total amount collected by the 70 groups is Rs. 2,090,060. The group members can get low interest loans from their group fund, which is deposited in either newly created village or local banks.

Volunteer opportunity:-

Agricultural Work

More than 95% of the local population farm for a means of supporting themselves and their families, through garden or subsistence farming. This means that they may only have small piece of land to work and it may be used for several different types of crops or vegetables.

Volunteers may work with one farmer or with several different farmers depending on the need. There may be planting or harvesting of crops or vegetables depending on the time of year, weed controlling, digging, plowing and irrigation of the fields, as well as construction or daily maintenance tasks.

Working with farmers may help to provide them with some support on the heavy workload these families have, when farming the land to survive. It also provides volunteers with an opportunity to get away from stress full environments and return to a more natural and peace full way of life.

Some of the farmers who have been active in the community with NIDS projects have also been given the opportunity to plant bamboo trees on their land. This provides a sustainable sauce of the useful plant and also an introduction to environmental conservation for the farmers. Volunteer may be able to assist with this work.

Teaching Program
In Schools
The teaching that is available for volunteers depends on their ability. Adequate English capabilities are essential, but if you are good at maths, or can still remember what you did in your maths lessons at school, this can also be used in conjunction with teaching English.

Experience in the classroom is not an essential requirement. As a NIDS team member volunteers can assist teachers with the running of the class's and gain experience through this, and if confident, volunteers can lead class's them selves.

Classes are usually large, with 60 pupils being the average, but potential up to 80 or even 90 to a class. There are several schools available to volunteers on the teaching program at both primary and secondary level, and in both private and government run institutions.

The teaching sessions last for 45 minutes and a volunteer can do between two and four classes per day depending on ability. Teachers at schools here will provide you with an English textbook from which you can plan your session with, and any books and educational material that you can bring with you would be greatly appreciated by our young people, the schools and the NIDS staff team.

There is a lot of scope for volunteers to use their imagination, and be creative to get the information that is required for the curriculum across. If you can start a song or play an instrument your sure to be a hit. But if you can bring a bit of enthusiasm and variety to the schools you could have a lasting influence on a lot of young peoples lives.

In Villages

Teaching English in the villages is aimed at the more mature students who may already have a basic understanding of the language, and will therefore be at a more advanced level. There are jobs available to people who have a good understanding of the English language, in the tourist industry. By working with these groups you can help locals with their chances of employment in this sector and can also promote work in other areas of employment.

Classes are held four or five days a week for two or three hours per day. There is also much scope for volunteers to try and employ their own ideas on how to teach English, and improve on the skills these groups already have.

Community Forest Work
There are 7-community forests in the Chitwan area of the Hill and Eastern regions. With in the community forests there is a wide selection of plant and animal life, including rare and endangered species such as Rhinos and tigers.


Protect the wild life.
To maintain a good environment with in the forest.
To Check the pressure on the forests and jungles.
To make money from income generating projects such as; tourists entering the forests on foot and by elephant, the sale of tree seedlings grown in the nurseries, the sale of dead trees for construction work and their branches for fire wood, both at a discount prices to the local population.

Volunteers have an opportunity to help with a range of different jobs within the community forests. The nurseries for the cultivation of tree seedlings need regular attention such as watering and weeding.

The fences need to be checked to make sure there are no new breaches, and if there are they need to be repaired. Trenches also need to be up kept to make sure the wildlife, such as Rhinos, cannot get close enough to the fences to brake through them.

Surveys also need to be carried out to monitor the types of trees and numbers growing within the forests boundaries.

General information

Cultural Customs
ÿ Take off your footwear before entering the home.
ÿ Do not step over people or food.
ÿ Do not point at people with your left hand.
ÿ To greet people, put the palms together in front of your chest (in a prayer like fashion) and say: Namaste.

Village Life

Dress Code
ÿ Women should not expose their shoulders and legs above the knee, even if it is very hot. For washing a towel or blanket is wrapped around the body.
ÿ Men should not take off their T-shirts in public, even if it is very hot (except for washing).

Eating Habits

ÿ The main meal is Dal Bhaat (rice and lentil soup with different types of vegetables and leafy greens). It is served twice a day usually around 9 to 10 am and around 7 to 8 pm.
ÿ Breakfast consists of Chiya, a sweet milky tea.
ÿ A snack during the day may be rice crispies and tea.
ÿ Nepalese food is very spicy.
ÿ The right hand is used for eating. But if you don't feel comfortable you can ask for a spoon.
ÿ Nepalese people usually eat on the floor, sitting on mats.

ÿ From April to August, temperatures can reach up to 35C and June/July/August is the monsoon season.
ÿ From September to December the air is clear and the visibility is good.

ÿ There are no garbage containers. So, try to produce as little waste as possible (especially plastic products).

Useful tips
ÿ Be open-minded!
ÿ Respect the culture!
ÿ Be friendly and try to smile!
ÿ Be prepared for a slower pace of life!
ÿ Transportation services are usually not at western standards!
ÿ Get vaccination advice form the doctor. (We suggest: Hepatitis, Thypus, Polio, Tetanus boosters and maybe rabies)
ÿ There's only a low risk to be infected with malaria. However it is more prevalent during the rainy season. Consider the risk of the side effects when taking the tablets in advance. We suggest not taking the medicine in advance but bringing a broadband spectrum antibiotic along in case you get infected.

What to bring
ÿ Bring a mosquito net!
ÿ Bring iodine or a filter to purify drinking water!
ÿ If you have spare room in your luggage, bring pens, pencils, notebooks, English children's books, balloons, soft toys or any other toys, educational material and useful things (be creative!) BUT avoid battery-operated gifts.
ÿ Bring a sleeping bag or blanket (in the hot season)
ÿ If you come during the rainy season don't forget a poncho (raincoat).
ÿ Bring basic medicine for example against headache, stomach problems, disinfecting pads, wound healing crème
ÿ Bring antibacterial lotion and buy (available in Nepal) paper towels and toilet paper (as this is not provided).
ÿ Sun block, sun-hat, sunglasses are very useful.
ÿ A good Swiss army knife (with scissors) is also helpful.
ÿ It would be nice if you could bring some pictures from your family and your country.
ÿ Take a backpack and something like a money-belt or a purse. Although Nepalese people are very honest are thefts are very rare.

Created by NIDS
Heart of the Jungle

From the vantage point know as Black Rock, high on the northern flank of the landscape of the Someshaw Hills, you can look out of one of the loveliest landscapes on earth. Directly below lays the lush valley of Chitwan, traditional the strong hold of the rhino and the tiger. Once the whole broad plane was covered by jungle, but now the forest has been pushed back to the near bank of the Rapti river, which runs from east to west across the middle of the foreground. Beyond it the chequer-board pattern of fields that stretches away to the north, with patches of mustard standing out brilliant yellow among the greens and browns.

Beyond the farmland, in the middle distance, looms the dark bulk of the Mahabharat Lekh, a range of mountains rising to more than 8,000 feet. Yet even these hills, substantial as they are, are dwarfed by the peaks that spear the sky behind them ­ for the entire northern horizon, 80 or 90 miles off, is made up of snowy summits in dazzling array. From Dhauulagiri in the west, past Annapurna, Macchapuchare, Gangapurna, Manaslu, Himalchuli and Ganesh Himal to Shisha Pangma far in the east, the Himalayan giants gleam like mighty teeth against the deep blue sky, a continuous reminder that the human spectator is looking directly from a tropical environment into an arctic one.

The name Chitwan has several possible meanings, but the most literal translation of the two Nepali words that make it up: chit or chita (heart) and wan or ban (jungle). Chitwan is thus the heart of the jungle', and by a combination of good management and luck the meaning still holds.

A malaria-eradication scheme, launched by the Government and by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1954, proved so successful that the whole district was declared malaria-free in 1960.

All this was progress of a kind. But the human influx from the hills was so vast and so rapid that inevitably it had a disastrous affect on the wildlife habitat. According to the USAID, the population rose from 36,000 in 1950 to 100,000 only ten years later, and by the early 1960's nearly two thirds of Chitwans forest had been lost for ever to the encroachment of the human tide.

The Chitwan National Park, established in 1961, has recently been extended and now covers an area of 500 square miles. Within this area can be found rhinos, tigers, Indian elephants, wild boar, and five types of deer, jackals, hyenas, bears, the gangetic dolphin, crocodiles, 440 species of birds and many other creatures of varying size and nature.

There are regular trips on the back of elephants in to the national park, and jungle walks are also made daily with guides, as well as canoe trips along the Rapti River.

Saurha, by the Chitwan National park, is a popular destination with tourists and travelers alike. Within this area can be found a wide selection of restaurants and riverside bars. There is access to the internet from several computer shops in the area. Chitwan therefore offers an option for the peaceful life within the villages, or a more active one in the area of Saurha.






Created by NIDS
Dear volunteer
Before you sign up for the volunteer program you should be aware of the following regulations and policies.

1. You have to be at least 18 years old.
2. You have to be able to communicate in English and you should try to learn some Nepali.
3. You have to take part in the local customs and the Nepali way of life such as dress code and eating habits, although spoons can be provided. (See dress code and eating habits for more details).
4. If you sign up for this program, you are expected to work and to show commitment to the project.
5. You should try to work in non-oppressive ways such as: by not imposing your views and accepting to work with in the Nepalese social structure.
6. To join the program you must pay an administration fee, which covers your in-country transportation and placement organization $250. The rest of the fee will support the NIDS' projects. The weekly fee ($ 20) is entirely used for food and accommodation expenses.


If you don't respect any of the above rules, you will be expelled form the program without refund.


I have read and understood the conditions to apply to the NIDS volunteer program.

Name date

Created by NIDS

For further information you can e-mail our organization on the following address:

Satay Naryan Chaudhary is currently the project manager and e-mails can be directed to him.

Alternatively you can phone us 977-56-60921.

If you want to contact some of our previous volunteers contact:

Kristin Hoff, form the USA who worked in farming and stayed with us for three months. At:

David Cowan, a Youth & Community student from the UK who stayed with us for one month as part of his student placement. He worked on the construction of this website, information technology skills, the development of NIDS's volunteer program and the writing of proposals. At:

Both of these volunteers would be more than willing to help you with any queries you have about volunteering with our organization.


Application form

Date of birth
Passport no
Hobbies and interests
Preferred work
First language
English capabilities
Length of stay
Date of arrival
Further comments

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